The Maryland sports betting market finally might be settling down, but first, there’s at least one more player poised to set up shop. The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission today awarded a sports wagering facility license to MSF Sports, Inc., a subsidiary of the Maryland State Fair and Agriculture Society, Inc.
Previously, the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Commission found MSF Sports “qualified” for a retail sports betting license. That information was passed to the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC), which determines whether the “awarding” of a gambling license to a specific applicant is in the public interest.
The SWARC awarded MSF Sports a license with unanimous approval. The next step for MSF Sports is to complete a controlled demonstration of its procedures for the Lottery & Gaming Control Commission staff to be issued a license.
Assuming a successful controlled demonstration, MSF Sports will be the 14th retail sportsbook in the state. It’s expected to be located at the Timonium Fairgrounds in partnership with DraftKings Maryland. The state also has 12 mobile/online sportsbooks.
Applications for Gambling Operators Slowing
Indications are that the rush of sports gambling operators into Maryland is slowing.
Maryland Lottery & Gaming officials reported to the SWARC today that while five potential Maryland betting apps are in the investigation/review phase of the process (as well one that hasn’t gotten that far), and two facility (meaning retail) applicants are also under review , that no new approval action is expected for a few months. That news caused the SWARC to set aside meetings for the rest of the year in anticipation that its next meeting won’t be required until January 2024.
“The market seems to have taken its short-term, if not long-term, structure with the dominant handful of operators,” SWARC chairman Tom Brandt noted. “That seems to be the environment we’re in.”
The next significant development on the horizon for Maryland gambling is a report that’s being prepared by an outside consultant on the prospects and potential impacts of iGaming, which is Maryland online casinos. The report is due to be presented to budget committees of the Maryland legislature on Nov. 15.
Online casino gambling was a hot topic at the recently held Global Gambling Expo in Las Vegas and Maryland is viewed as one of the more likely states for iGaming to be discussed and possibly introduced. Only seven states have legalized iGaming and it has encountered more resistance among lawmakers than sports gambling did.
In Maryland, the General Assembly would have to pass legislation and the governor would have to sign it to put the question of iGaming on the November 2024 ballot for voter approval. Keep it close to BetMaryland.com for developments on iGaming, as well as for the top Maryland sportsbook promos.